A twelve-year-old Michal was born with a cleft lip. He feels inadequate because of his deformed face. His only friend Ondra convinces him to join a street gang to finally break free from a position of an outsider. Two friends have one afternoon to show they have what it takes to pass the admission to the gang. Michal desperately wants to prove he is good enough, but the tempting adventure suddenly turns into an initiation ritual into adulthood. Original Title Rituály Year of production 2022 Length 16' CountryCzech Republic Shooting Format Digital Aspect Ratio 4:3 Dialogue Czech DirectorDamian Vondrasek Producer Martina Netikova Co-Producer FAMU Production Company Cinémotif Films Writers Damian Vondrasek, Lukas Csicsely Cinematographer Krystof Melka Editor Jakub Podmanicky Sound Simon Herrmann Art Director Stella Sonkova Cast Tomas Stary, Daniel Vízek
Director's Statement Growing up, I had experienced moments that attacked the border of my so far familiar world. Milestones that forced me to expand my perception of how complicated life can be. By this film, I would like the audience to re-experience such a maturing moment, from a perspective of a boy who feels alone and who desperately wants to fit in. And because of that, he crosses the line. My goal was to show this adventure through the eyes of the protagonist. This was the key for the visual style of the film as well. We chose a 4:3 aspect ratio using solely 50 mm lens to limit the field of view and create a subjective experience. We used a shallow depth of field to enhance the feeling of isolation. My intention is to seek a connection between emotional perspective and camera angle and most importantly between what is shown and what is hidden.